New Delhi: The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is making the situation worse all over the world. With limited health resources, people are struggling to find hospital beds, medicines, and oxygen cylinders to treat Covid-9 patients. On top of that, suspension of Outpatient departments and routine surgeries have added to the people's woes.
However, there are some important first-aid tips we all need to know to be able to treat a friend or a family member in case of an emergency. Lately, one such technique, called proning, has been made viral on social media platforms. It is the process of turning a patient with precise, safe motions, from their back onto their abdomen (stomach), so the individual is lying face down.
Bharat Lal, Additional Secretary, Government of India, shared his personal experience with Covid-19 and how proning helped him breathe better. He tested positive on April 19 and was admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The same day in the evening, his oxygen level started depleting, and later it went below 80. The junior doctors immediately put him on oxygen support.
Shortly after, when Dr Randeep Guleria, pulmonologist, and AIIMS director, along with other senior doctors check on Lal, they said that his body didn't require any external oxygen support. The doctors then went on to remove the tubes and later explained to Lal that his body was strong enough to be able to process oxygen naturally.
The doctors made Lal lie down on his chest facing downward and asked him to start deep breathing. As a result, within a few minutes, his oxygen level started improving and in the next couple of hours, his oxygen level got stabilised to 96/97%.
Lal said, "Since then they continuously asked me to lie down on my chest/stomach and try to sleep in this manner only. In my days of recovery, whenever my oxygen level went down, I immediately lay down on my chest and started deep breathing." He added that it was extremely effective.
Dr Guleria said, “Don’t give up easily, don’t opt for easy options or support. Let our body take care of itself. Let us tackle this virus in severe cases but only after you've tackled it at the family/individual level."
When CitySpidey spoke to Dr Supriya Chauhan, 32, a senior resident in the Department of Neurosurgery, and a Puducherry resident about her tweet on lying on your belly and chest improve oxygenation, she said, "If your oxygen level is too low that is less than 80%, there will be improvement till 85-88% by doing this but still you will need oxygen support. But every covid positive patient must do this whenever they feel breathless."
This technique, as recommended by doctors and experts, may help someone in an emergency, especially at home or while waiting to be admitted to a hospital.